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New House leader wants to shelve US health reform

New House leader wants to shelve US health reform

House Republican Leader John Boehner on Wednesday claimed a voter mandate to roll back the Obama administration's health care overhaul, calling it a "monstrosity."
The presumptive next speaker of the House told reporters that the Republican takeover of the House and its success in narrowing the Democratic Senate majority in Tuesday's elections was proof that "the Obama-Pelosi agenda" was rejected by the American people.
"I think that it's a mandate for Washington to reduce the size of government and continue our fight for smaller, less costly and more accountable government," Boehner said.
Come January, Boehner is in line to succeed Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat who became the first woman speaker of the House four years ago.
While Boehner spoke of popular opposition to the health care law, a national exit poll found that voters were split on the issue, with nearly half calling for its repeal and a roughly equal number saying it should either be expanded or left as is.
Still, it would be difficult for the House Republicans to roll back the health care measure. Democrats are still in control of the Senate and unlikely to allow such a measure to reach the floor for debate or vote. Obama also still holds his veto power and the Republicans do not have sufficient numbers to override.
"We have a big job ahead of us and that's why you'll see us roll up our sleeves and go to work today," Boehner said, adding that Republicans will take the next several months, before the new session begins in January, to map out their agenda.
Posing for pictures with fellow Republican Rep. Eric Cantor, Boehner said, "The American people were concerned about the government takeover of health care." He added, "I think it's important for us to lay the groundwork before we begin to repeal this monstrosity."
Cantor, who is in line to become Boehner's deputy as the next majority leader, echoed Boehner. He said voters made clear they thought the Obama administration's agenda over the last 20 months has failed.
"They have rejected that approach," Cantor said, "and they want to see us return to a sense of limited government and that means, as the leader just said, cut spending and get us back to an era in which we can promote opportunity."


Updated : 2021-03-05 18:56 GMT+08:00